If Sen. Barack Obama wins the presidential election, will that victory undermine his political future?
What a stupid question, you might be thinking. I can't believe I even clicked on the headline. This kind of bizarro logic, however, is percolating in the political media. The cable shows have been talking about how a Democratic sweep could ultimately hurt the Democratic Party. "Democrats See Risk and Reward if Party Sweeps" blared a recent New York Times headline. OpenLeft Blogger Chris Bowers slices through this madness in a post Wednesday:
Look, the raison d'etre of electorally focused political party is to win as many elections as possible. To argue that winning more seats is somehow a negative for any political party is exactly as stupid as arguing that it is bad for a sports team to win a championship. To even attempt an argument that winning an election is bad for a party is to enter the final level of concern troll mastery...
Speculative punditry is riddled with concern troll ticks, of course. Some editors and producers also like the "man-bites-dog" quality of these stories.
On a personal note, I'll never forget when I was invited on CNBC to debate whether Obama would be weakened by winning another primary. I am not exaggerating -- the segment was titled "Mississippi: Will Win Weaken Obama?" I pointed out that winning primaries was the point of these campaigns.
Yet, as everyone prematurely obsesses over a massive Democratic sweep -- which has not happened yet and may not happen -- we'll hear even more contrarian craziness. But, for the record, here's one safe prediction: The winner of this election will not be hurt by his victory.